Hormone Levels
During Menopause


We all know by now don't we that hormone levels change during the menopause. This is where the term "going through the change" originates.

So lets take a look at what your body is doing shall we....

Its all down to those dreaded hormones again! Yep, we've 'put up' with them throughout our lives, from puberty to adolescence, through pregnancy and every month since and here they are again!

Oestrogen levels become unpredictable but even more so do the level of progesterone. These are the main female hormones, but not the only ones! However, it will be these two that are focused upon here, as they are the main ones playing some kind of merry dance with your life right now! Any changes in hormone levels will implement changes of some kind but during the 4 stages of menopause many things can happen!

Oestrogen and progesterone are mainly produced in the ovaries. Normal levels of each are what govern

• The release of the egg in preparation for fertilisation
• The lining of the womb to prepare for pregnancy

This usually occurs every 28 days (or there about).
When hormone production gradually decreases this normally indicates the slowing down of the reproductive years and is seen as the onset of menopause or to be more precise - perimenopause (this is when the "MENOPAUSE hormone levels" begin to kick in).

The female body needs both oestrogen and progesterone to remain healthy – even when we reach these changing stages of our life. Check out the long list of changes that take place when hormone levels become unpredictable by going to Menopause signs and symptoms.

So lets take a look at these 2 major contributors to the hormone effects taking place during menopause.


1) OESTROGEN:

Levels of this hormone are present in both men and women but in the female they are of a much higher dominance. They are what determine the growth and development of a girl into a woman. Essentially Oestrogen is necessary for all the reproductive arenas of the female cycle, from puberty to menstruation, on into pregnancy, though to menopause and everything in-between!

From the time you, as a young girl, began life 'Oestrogen' was there preparing your body for its life ahead. It was instrumental in the development of your sex organs; it completed your skeletal framework so that, when the time came for you to mature into womanhood, your bone structure was in place. From regulation of your periods to the maintenance of pregnancy, none of this could have been achieved if it weren't for 'Oestrogen'. Even to the point of getting that one all important sperm to the awaiting egg, she was there to lubricate the way so the sperm could survive that long and exhausting journey.

As pregnancy nears its end and your baby (if you had one - or more!) was ready to enter this world, 'she' was there preparing the way.
'Oestrogen' promoted the development of milk to feed the new born by prompting the milk ducts within the breasts to burst (sometimes literally!) into life! She did this by enhancing the effect of another female hormone called prolactin, which is responsible for lactation of the vital creamy white fluid called milk.
Throughout your reproductive, years hormone levels between Oestrogen and Progesterone served you well during a cycle lasting 28 days or so.
You see, in a 'normal' female cycle, the womb is prepared for fertilization of a released egg from an ovary. This preparation is the job of our other good friend Progesterone.Most times the prepared environment within the womb is not required, so the release of its lining takes place and a 'period' occurs.
Any changes occurring to hormone levels throughout life will disrupt the cycle. Things like taking the contraceptive pill or having a hysterectomy can each do this.

As life goes on and you get older, the amount of eggs available is depleted. Menstruation will soon become a thing of the past. Without eggs to fertilise there is no need to prepare for embryo embedment. And thus our trusted and reliable friend 'Oestrogen' very slowly becomes depleted too. Her presence gradually fades to about 40% less than during the fertile years and you will then begin another new 'cycle of life'.

This is what we know as 'the change of life' or 'menopause'.

Oestrogen levels drop gradually as you get older, BUT it must be realised here that at no point in your life will this hormone stop production completely. It merely becomes reduced over time to approximately 40-60% less during and after menopause. Whereas, with our friend Progesterone, the pace of depletion is much faster during this vital stage of a woman’s life, as you will now discover.

So now lets take a look at the hormone effects of PROGESTERONE shall we....



2) PROGESTERONE

This vital hormone prepares the lining of the womb for implantation of the fertilzed egg during the second half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone is a very important hormone for a woman when wanting to get pregnant and during the stages of pregnancy.
Performing many of the tasks which enable a healthy full term pregnancy to occur, the secretion of Progesterone during a healthy pregnancy will remain until close to birth. At this time progesterone levels drop, thus stimulates the contractions ultimately leading to imminent labour and birth. The drastic changes in hormone levels during pregnancy are what enable it to happen.

Progesterone, unlike her friend Oestrogen, takes a much more dramatic drop as the onset of perimenopause and menopause occurs. With the decrease in the amount of eggs available for released and the possibility of pregnancy dropping as the years increase progesterone is fast becoming less of a necessity. With this occurrence a fluctuation in the hormone levels begin and a barrage of symptoms spring to life!

HOWEVER, these upsetting and difficult times can be helped very successfully in natural ways. You can discover these by visiting Natural Remedies for Menopause Symptoms on this website.

Progesterone depletion during the perimenopause can produce some very common symptomatic hormone effects such as:-

• Hot flashes and/or night sweats
• Menstrual cycle irregularities
• Tenderness of the breasts
• Loss of libido
• Vaginal dryness
• Depression
• Mood swings

This stage can occur anywhere between the ages of 45 and 52 and for some ladies even earlier or later than that.

As the perimenopause progresses on into true menopause (around the ages of 50 to 60, although again this can be variable either way) the hormone effects of progesterone take on other symptoms:-

• The big one being Osteoporosis if you are not careful - although there are natural ways to prevent this happening.

• Anxiety or even panic attacks

• Irritability

• Infertility definitely comes into its own here as the lining of the womb completely ceases.

• Weight gain


The main thing you need to remember:

Oestrogen does not deplete as fast as Progesterone

it is this that creates the imbalance in hormone levels.

It used to be thought it was due to the drop in Oestrogen that caused the onset of menopause. Now, in more recent years, it's been discovered that Progesterone is the real the culprit for these changes in hormone levels!


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More information about the menopause can be found via the following links:

Coping with the Menopause

Signs and Symptoms of Menopause

Natural Remedies for Menopause

Lifestyle remedies During Menopause

Nutritional Remedies for Menopause

Exercise During Menopause

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